This past week I spent some time drafting sample meditations for an Advent series that I’m applying to write for a publisher. (If I get the job, I’ll tell you more about it and where you can, eventually, buy the book.) As I read the scripture passages assigned for the first week in Advent 2021 (yes, we’re working way in advance here!), I found myself pondering our climate crisis as it’s reflected in the readings—specifically, though not exclusively, in those scriptures that focus on end times. While the material for this post didn’t make it into my sample meditation series, I feel that it’s all part of a broader picture.

When I began praying about what to write for this post, I found myself recalling some of the photos I took of pinecones in Colorado. These beautiful seed packets are incredibly durable, holding dozens of seeds in safety for sometimes decades before the conditions are right for sprouting.

Sometimes those conditions can be pretty severe. Long before we humans were carelessly setting wildfires, nature ignited them through lightning strikes. While much of the forest would burn, it wasn’t all bad. As I wrote two years ago in an article for Ordinary Mystic (which is no longer available on their website):

Lightning strikes periodically burned sections of forest over the course of centuries, even eons, but the forest itself, as a whole, was never destroyed. In fact, the forest was renewed through that burning. Dead, dry underbrush was consu